Saturday, 27 October 2018

Surge of hangings in Singapore while Malaysia shuns death penalty

Despite appeals, a Malaysian citizen ensnared in neighboring Singapore’s capital punishment regime was not spared; he was one of four executed this week

Given the circumstances, conjuring a smile couldn’t have been easy. Still, Prabu N. Pathmanathan, a 31-year-old Malaysian convicted of drug trafficking, put on his best face when it came time for his final photographs to be taken. Despite a Malaysian government appeal for leniency, he would be hanged just hours later at Changi Prison in Singapore.

The young Malaysian, sentenced to death for couriering 7.97 ounces of heroin into the city-state in 2014, was among at least six individuals executed in Singapore this month for drug offenses. His fate was sealed after the President’s Office of Singapore rejected two petitions lodged by family members and civil society groups requesting clemency.

Though the Singapore Prison Service does not routinely release information about imminent executions apart from figures released in its annual report, anti-death penalty activists claim that seven executions have taken place since the beginning of October, including four this week.

Asia Times could not independently verify the figure. The wealthy Southeast Asian city-state is known to have conducted a total of eight executions in 2017 and four in 2016. An uptick in the use of capital punishment in Singapore comes as neighboring Malaysia announced earlier this month that it would abolish the death penalty for all crimes.

Read the full story at 
Asia Times.

Nile Bowie is a writer and journalist with the Asia Times covering current affairs in Singapore and Malaysia. He can be reached at